Teenagers in Charlotte should be able to look forward to their futures with excitement and anticipation. Their opportunities may seem virtually limitless, and that potential should be cultivated to their benefit. However, criminal activity may quickly derail their dreams. They could be forced to face criminal penalties for their actions, which could set them behind in their academic progression. Even after having satisfied the demands of those penalties, the mere association with the criminal activity they were accused of could prohibit them from future opportunities, such as being able to find work, further their education or qualify for housing. 

Such penalties could be facing a teen arrested in Guilford County in connection with a fire started at a retail store in Colorado. Investigators say that despite the fire starting in the early morning hours (when the store would have presumably been closed), they suspected it was caused arson almost immediately. How the teen entered the store and the reasons for him being in North Carolina were not reported. Despite the local firefighters and the store’s own fire suppression being able to contain much of the blaze, the teen is being charged with causing over $1 million in damages. 

It may be well understood that teens often lack the maturity and perspective needed to truly comprehend the long-term consequences of their actions. While that may not excuse any criminal activity they stand accused of, the impact that a misdemeanor or felony conviction might have on their futures should be considered when determining how to best handle their cases. Parents should fight to ensure their teens’ interests are protected even in the face of criminal charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be of great assistance in such a fight.